There is nothing more fun than finding a fabulous toy. Something well constructed, playful and — if I’m honest– has great design.

So I was stoked to hit up the 109th annual American International Toy Fair® in New York City this week.  That said, four convention center floors full of toys and youth products is downright overwhelming. Luckily, I had Baltimore’s top toy gurus leading the way: Claudia and Tom Towles, owners of Charm City’s own aMuse Toys.

If you’ve been to aMuse, you’ll know that Claudia and Tom are always on the hunt for beautiful, purposeful play things. They not only want items that put the fun in functional, they want to be sure the companies with whom they work share their ethical business ideologies. Claudia jokes that their product partners think she’s a pain — in all the right ways.

“I want to know where their products are constructed and what they’re made of. Not just that they have met safety standards, but what materials went into their product to achieve that safety standard,” said Claudia.

Needless to say, I was in really good hands at Toy Fair. Here are some of my favorite finds, all of which will be shipping to aMuse this spring and summer. In no particular order…

Eco Bonk
Bop-Bag goes green {finally!}. Eco Bonks are bio-degradable vinyl and custom-fitted with plush removable fabric covers. Yes, that does mean you can wash them. I just love the design. It’s a bop-bag you won’t need to stash in the closer when company comes over. aMuse will be the Baltimore exclusive retailer for this new product.

Melissa and Doug Peel ‘n Press Stained Glass
I’m always on the hunt for fun arts and crafts activities. This fun sticker kit from Melissa & Doug looks like stained glass and doesn’t require painting.

Rubabbu City Life Set
I’ll be honest. When I first approached the Rubbabu booth, I wasn’t immediately impressed. It was fairly understated.  Claudia and Tom, however, we’re like kids in a candy store when we stumbled upon this Indian product –one I learned they had previously carried but lost track of in a domestic distributor switch-up. When I asked what they were so thrilled about, they both synchronously chimed “just touch it.” Yeah, they were right. Rubabbu is unbelievably soft, 100% all=natural foam. While the line has letters and numbers that are perfect for tactile learning, I fell in serious aww with the City Life Set, which features foam city characters and a cloth cityscape mat. Perfect for an urban kiddo.

Eco-Kids Crayons
I’ve been an Eco-Kids fan since I discovered their natural art products a few years ago. I became a groupie when I met Kip, the co-owner and creator at Toy Fair. Their crayons are 25% beeswax and 75% vegetable. And their shaped like rocks, perfect for little hand grips.

Arx by Fat Brain Toys
The aMuse Toy team was definitely on the hunt for new — and engaging — games. We had a chance to play a bunch of favorites at Fat Brain Toys, including Arx which will be released this summer. While not exactly a game, Arx is a new take on the magnetic building block. Stackable, slideable and pretty darn great aesthetics. Magnets were something we saw a ton of at the Fair. Fat Brain definitely got them right in this case.

Magformers
Bright, colorful and surprise! Magnetic. {Told you magnets were a trend.} Perfect for young builders because the pieces stick together and (cool) because units never repel. That means no frustration. Magformers have been unavailable for a few seasons and are making quite the comeback with a plethora of new sets and construction options.

Many thanks to aMuse Toys for asking me to tag along on their merchandising adventure. Or, in my case, an edventure.